Request a Counter Protest Packet
Street preachers can often seem ubiquitous on college campuses. They often show up without warning (although some do publish their schedules on their websites), making it difficult to respond appropriately. Despite this, SSA groups can take advantage of their presence on campus, and do it in really creative ways!
This packet provides your group with supplies needed at any counter protesting activity. It includes non-confrontational placards to draw attention, brochures to pass out to spread knowledge of your group’s presence on campus, street preacher bingo sheets to for a fun and promotional game, SSA stickers, and a few other things useful in such situations!
Along with street preachers, college campuses also often have other types of hate speech occurring on campus that your group might choose to be visible at. For example, anti-abortion groups who set up displays of mangled babies in order to spread misinformation around abortion access and to demonize the women who go through it. There might also be other forms of racist or sexist displays that your group would want to challenge.
Use these opportunities to cooperate with other campus groups (such as your school’s LGBT group or women’s rights group), like the SSA at Iowa State when they countered hate speech from a preacher on their campus. They are also fantastic opportunities to advertise your own group to the crowd hate-preachers naturally create!
- Do not ever interact physically with anyone you are protesting against. Some groups (such as Westboro Baptist Church) attempt to drive aggression to make money off of it. Some even have a supporter recording their rant in order to catch anyone touching them to use in a lawsuit.
- If violence occurs, contact campus or city police immediately.
- Some members of your group might not be comfortable being present at a counter protest. This is totally fine! Do not feel like you need to pressure anyone to be there.
- Use these opportunities to build bridges with other groups and communities on campus and confront important issues. Some religious groups may even want to participate to draw a line between their form of religion and that of the preachers'.
- Send out a press release or letter to the editor. Oftentimes, local media will cover anything like this and it is a great way to get your group’s important message of acceptance and tolerance out.
This service is currently only available to SSA Chapters. Not sure if your group holds chapter status? Check out the details here (it's super easy for your college group to gain chapter status!).